Thursday, August 7, 2008

Why We Fight

First, I'd like to say thank you to all the folks who responded to my previous blog by explaining why they still fight a Middleboro casino. Their responses are truly inspiring!.

As for me, I can break down my reasons for remaining in the fight in the following ways:

Not separate. Not equal.
The initial discovery that there exist in the United States sovereign nations where our fellow Americans operate under separate laws and governments, with limited checks and balances, while enjoying benefits not available non-tribal members, left me shocked. It seemed to go against everything I had believed about our form of democracy. Additionally, that this sovereignty could be perverted for the benefit of billionaire investors who infect our communities with the virus of mega-casinos and leave us with a gambling culture, all in the effort to line their own pockets, is simply outrageous. And - even worse - was being told that all of this was somehow for our own good. Wrong.

What Process?
The only transparency to be found in the political process leading up to last years town meeting is that it was clearly flawed. Town government made up their minds early, sleep-walking through the countdown to July 28th, with visions of seven million sugar plums dancing in their heads. Where was the discussion? Where were the forums? The experts? What was the rush?

It was a circus, pure and simple - a frenzy of feathers, bullying and mis-information. And while Middleboro residents got to have their moment at the microphone, me and my friends in the surrounding communities are still waiting for ours. The whole process was undemocratic, unprofessional, and wrong.

The Myth of Inevitability.
To say that a casino is inevitable in Middleboro is a lie. Sadly, it's been a lie that's taken on a life of it's own. It's a lie which is perpetuated by lawyers and other's with something to gain from a casino. It's a lie which is used to convince people they can't fight - or win - a battle to keep their community casino-free. It's a lie. And it's wrong.

Lowered Expectations:
I believe in having high expectations for the place you call home. You should want the best for it, you have an investment in it and it's future. To 'settle' for a casino is like inviting crime, corruption and addiction to set up shop in your own neighborhood.

You can dress up gambling in any family-friendly way you want. You can market a 'resort-casino' as a sort of sanitized Disney world offering fun and amusement for all. You can plug your ears and close your eyes to true tales of addiction, crime and suffering. You can tell yourself your cut of the profits will make it all worthwhile. But a casino is still going to be one of the worst economic, cultural and civic investments you can make in your community. And to me, it's a huge disappointment to have watched so many people exhibit low expectations for their community and region. But perhaps if they'd had the opportunity to become better educated about what to expect, Middleboro residents might have felt differently about opening the door to a casino. But then, what would have been the point of rushing the town meeting?

A movement should have momentum.
I've tried to keep blogging, even during the quieter months, and even during the frantic months, because I think it demonstrates that the anti-casino movement is still there, still alive and still going strong. This commitment has always forced me to dig deeper, and to learn more than I believe I ever would have. And I share this information in what I feel is an often lighthearted way to inspire others to keep visiting my blog and to share the information with others - preferably in editorials to the local papers.

Blogging has also given me the confidence to correct misinformation I've seen in the media and from government sources. And the beauty is, all anti-casino bloggers have their own style - which invariably will appeal to different people. But more importantly, we all add up to a chorus of different people, from different communities all saying this is wrong!

Mean People Suck.
They stole our signs, yelled curses at our children, verbally harassed us at town meeting, vandalized our property, cyber-bullied us, threatened us with lawsuits and violence, tried to humiliate us, sent out mass mailings encouraging others to discredit our businesses, presented themselves as us on public forums, gaveled our voices, spread false rumors, and esentially attempted to intimidate us at every turn.

I do not want these people charting the course of our region's future. Not no way. Not no how.

And that's why I fight.


carverchick said...

Gladys, we are right along side of you and we will never give up and we will never give in.

Never give in.. never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force.. never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill -

serena said...

My blood pressure rises and my stomach turns every time I remember the gestapo conduct of Middleboro during last year.
When a small group asked the board to remove the casino parcels from the auction list, Marsha dismissed those voters by saying 'we won't discuss the land auction.' And Wayne Perkins dismissed voters by saying the town isn't in the real estate business. That's the same Waybe Perkins who said towns in Connecticut that have casinos don't pay taxes. Nothing like some reasonable fact checking Wayne! And Mr. Bond told more lies than you can list, beginning with the one about needing an agreement because the casino was coming anyway and the town would loose. So he sold the town for $7 million. That must be the going price in Mr. Bond's diminishing law practice. And the other 2 dead heads just nodded agreement like they were asleep or dead. Jack Healey bulldozed this deal through, as he bulldozed much else through like the million dollar swampland on Fuller St because many weren't paying attention to town government. Some still aren't.
That Mr. Bond is again pontificating about a casino that will never come on his radio program today indicates that he knows it's lost. His post on his site regarding the behavior of others ignores his reprehensible public conduct. Even at this late date, he has failed to hire experts as Rep. Calter suggested. It's a burden to be as self absorbed as Mr. Bond!

cdplakeville said...

Alas, I am going to do something that I did not think I would ever do. Since the process has been a circus, tomorrow, I expose the clown. We (I) fight on. Thanks Gladys.

Anonymous said...

Your take on the "process" was totally correct and due to the actions of my hometown's BOS, I am sorry to say I am ashamed to admit I am from Middleboro. I had never been treated with such disrespect due to just having a difference of opinion!! Looking back in past yrs. this was never excepted behavior in our town. Who changed it? and why?
We will keep fighting no matter how much we are ridiculed because we are winning!!


(Edgar A. Guest)


Kathleen Conley Norbut said...

Gladys, I admire your brillance.
I am looking for information on any groups that may be surveying candidates for election to the Legislature on their positions on casinos. Any leads?

Gladys Kravitz said...

Thank you, Kathleen. I don't know of any information or groups involved in this, but have sent out the word to friends who might. Good luck!

Gladys Kravitz said...

Dear anon. 10:01,

Please don't be ashamed of being from Middleboro!

Middleboro is a beautiful town, rich in history. I was born and raised there and have never been sorry.

This is a hiccup in Middleboro's otherwise fine history. Just look at the leadership.

The town needs to change and it needs to change by having people like you get involved.

My town is no exception. Bridgewater recently gave the boot to a selectman who gave us the "Marsha" treatment last summer.

Change is not only possible - it's a lot more probable than a Middleboro casino.

Thanks so much for your comments. Never stop fighting for a better community, higher standards, and quality leadership. Show the naysayers what Middleboro is REALLY about.

Anonymous said...

Just got time to go back & read. Gladys, your comments are sincere. Glad to see you have "Faith" in my/your hometown. However, I travel around the state, when I pull out my license to confirm payment for a purchase, just about every time there is a comment made about the casino "town" and it is not in the best light. Sometimes it's been, "glad it's in YOUR town", "what are you people crazy?," "I have a family member in CT. that lived near (insert either casino), they had to move" OR "they wanted to but the property values dropped so low they couldn't sell to move" This goes on & on, even from people who like to gamble! DON'T WANT IT IN THIER TOWN/CITY! I now say, call my BOS & tell them what you said to me! I am against it, they are for it!!
This is why I have becomed embarrased by my address! One person even had the rudness to say to me, "stupid people," & they didn't even know what side I was on.
Trying to feel the same way you do!!